In our last blog, we asked “Should AGE be a factor when gigging”? We observed that over the past few decades most bands usually stick with the same general age group, for a variety of reasons. But from the replies we received, it appears that the majority of gigging bands today are much more diverse when it comes to the ages of their band members. Check a few of these replies:
I love this story. In my band we have an 18 year old, 2 members in
their early 30s, and 2 members that just turned 50. It’s all about
playing ability, stage presence, and putting on a show so the audience
has a great time. Our audience is all ages, why not the band too.
On my gig last night, the drummer was in his 30’s, the bass player was in his 40’s, I’m (guitar/bandleader) 59, and the lead singer was in his 60’s. We slayed that room and everything in sight. Sometimes it just works out that way.
Back in my early 20’s, I got a lead gtr gig with a ctry band skg a sub gtr @ a mtn bar. The line-up was 3 ol’ timers on bass, drums and fiddle. Mtrl was Merle, Willie, Waylon, Cash, Kris, Dylan, Elvis, etc. It was my 1st time to juggle so many artist w/ this genre. I showed up w/ a LP and a Twin Rev. Should’ve had a Tele, no doubt. Since these guys were so glad that I even showed up, they cut me a lotta slack w/ my green ctry ability. This gig opened up a world of opportunities for me down the road. Closer to point, over 40yrs of events, fairs, rodeos, tribute acts, ctry cruises, rvr runs/resorts in CA/AZ/NV. Th value of th 3 old timers exp./ability as opposed to their image/age is what I walked away with at the end of the nite. For me it would be priceless.
I never thought of this until now but, when I go out to see a band, I judge them by their looks too – if they’re around my age, I think that they’ll play music I like and it will be loud. If they’re very young I think I won’t like the music. I guess that club owners/managers know what age group comes to their club regularly and they have to hire groups that will make their crowd happy. So, club bands who aren’t hired shouldn’t take offense – you might be too young and good-looking!
My last band of 3 years was a combination of players (6 of us) between the ages of 27 and 72! We had previously had a guitarist who was in his 50s and he had a bad attitude so we replaced him. The best guy that auditioned was a "kid" of only 27 – and he was awesomely good and very easy on the eyes. We took him into the band and he was a great asset and got along so well with every one of us individually and as a group. His expertise and attitude brought such a renewed enjoyment to the band and we just loved him. And he never had any issue with us being oldsters, in fact I don't think it even entered his mind, he just knew we were also very talented musicians and that he loved being part of our bands energy. Young and old, talent is talent and the best fit for me is about personality, talent, energy and attitude.
I’ve done gigs with musicians who are young enough to technically be my kids, and some who are my Dad’s age (including a few who actually played gigs with him).The old saying that “age is a state of mind” really rings true with most musicians. We don’t have to look any further than The Rolling Stones for proof (even though the big, fat paychecks help, I’m sure).
I believe your headline should read, not SHOULD, but, “IS age a factor when gigging?” As a lifelong musician Id have to say that age is most definitely a factor in various ways. I’ve responded to ads by bands and individuals about projects that I thought might be interesting, or where I thought I would be a good fit. That is, to bands or individuals who don’t say right up front they’re looking for a certain age range, which many do. But for these folks that don’t specify, I feel the right thing to do is to be honest about my age up front, as there’s no point in trying to fool anybody. The idea of mixing ages, energies and experience holds a lot of possibility, and is very appealing to me.
I currently play in two working bands. One is a 5-piece straight ahead blues-rock band so the idea that at least three members are close to my age isn’t so strange in that timeless genre. But I’ve also played for seven years behind a female vocalist who is a great indie singer-songwriter who also does very eclectic contemporary covers. She is in her 30s, we regularly use a drummer in his 20s, our regular percussionist is in his early 40s but the guitarist is two years older than I am…and it really doesn’t matter. No one seems to notice. We will gig up to three times a week and the guitarist and I hold up pretty well physically. But the one thing that I have noticed is that the idea of 9:00 p.m. to 1:45 a.m. four-set nights is something I/we like to avoid. That may be the one thing that has changed the most!!! But my love for the lifestyle is as strong as ever–that’s why I still do it!!!